Rising tensions

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Pakistan is currently engulfed by intense tensions although most of them are not visible because stringent efforts are made to keep them from coming to the horizon. There are attempts to reverse the clock by decades without realising their futility as the situation on the ground has radically altered. The dissensions are seething in almost every segment of the social matrix as they resent that they have been taken for a ride for far longer than they could tolerate. The darker side of the fact is that the resentment producing tensions is genuinely true and cannot be brushed under the carpet.

It is more than evident that Pakistan is going through an unraveling phase and things are breaking down. Unfortunately, the silhouette of things to come has not been clearly spotted yet and that is causing consistent tension. It is certainly not healthy to keep on pulling levers from behind the curtain and shy away from claiming responsibility. No one wants to live in a limbo as longer spells of uncertainty not only breed frustration but also give rise to tension.

Pakistanis have no picture to paint of what is in store for them. The leading forces formulating opinion in Pakistan portray things in contradictory colours. For some everything is rosy and for others nothing is right. The situation is so murky that even shrewd observers cannot predict how the future will turn out to be. This state of affairs is certainly untenable and calls for urgent steps to rectify matters but it can be clearly seen that the situation is deliberately kept vague.

During the last decade Pakistani politics has categorically veered towards intense competition between forces that may be termed utilitarian in the most basic sense of the term but they were repeatedly held in their tracks. Despite expectation that Pakistan may experience real change of governance as the current dispensation is the third civil administration given a chance to take over the reins of power without a break, the results are not satisfactory. Instead of raising hopes, such spectre has heightened tension as the people agonise at being subjected to the tried and tested political elements that are again lording over them. People are quite certain that the present political groupings are completely incapable of bringing about a positive change.

The people are very resentful about the administrative machinery of the state that has continuously let them down. The callousness of the official set-up has reached new heights and they totally ignore their responsibilities and have nothing to do with public welfare. The administrative agencies have touched their lowest point endangering the lives and property of people. Repeated instances of organised violence and the inability of the state machinery to prevent them are deeply depressing.

Pakistanis resent that their hard work does not pay. Despite gruelling hours their economic situation has failed to improve. They often are told that their futures are mortgaged with foreign donor agencies that provide financial succour to sustain the economy of the country. The rising cost of living has far galloped beyond their ability to pay. The population of Pakistan desperately resents the service delivery of everything needed to live these days. There are shortages and deprivation faced by them day in and day out. They fail to understand why the state is unable to meet their demands for basic facilities that are otherwise taken for granted.

So the future appears to be a combustible mix of a flood of youth highly resentful of the lives they are condemned to live and the expectations they may have with governance arrangement. The developing situation must be an eye-opener for the status-quo political elements that face the toughest challenge but are unwilling to budge. The simmering resentment will tear apart the ability of the political apparatus to mutually design coalitions as the successful representatives will be under tremendous pressure of the population to resist temptations offered to the select few.

The winds of change have the potential of sweeping away both rural and urban areas as the levels of information have been formidably substantiated by the vigilant media in the last five years. The surge of youth is relentless and that too a resentment-driven one. The only way forward would be that future governance should be based on solid principles of public welfare otherwise it will become very cumbersome for it to survive. The state apparatus in its present shape has very little chance of survival and it has become mandatory for the leadership to alter it for good.

It is imperative that the traditional methods of diverting attention are no more applied as people now realise their real meanings. The clock cannot be reversed as it is against the natural scheme of things to do so. Repeating such maneuvers will increase tensions and may well result in grievous harm to the country. TW

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